What is a good intro for a synthesis essay that is on the death penalty?  

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a synthesis essay, you must come up with an argument. In your case, this might be an argument for or against the death penalty. This argument should be part of your thesis statement. But also note that a good synthesis essay demonstrates the writer's ability to show how different secondary sources support your claim and thesis statement. Think of a synthesis as a way of combining your ideas and the supporting information of the secondary sources. Imagine that you/writer are presenting your claim/thesis in a room with the authors of those secondary sources. So, your paper would read like a dialogue between your ideas and theirs. The idea with a synthesis is to combine different things. The result (conclusion) will summarize how your ideas did combine with the other sources in a logical, persuasive way. 

The intro should introduce how you are going to do this. State how you will show that sources support your argument. For example, if you are arguing that the death penalty is too absolute and barbaric, an introduction might sound something like this: 

In this essay, I argue that the enforcement of the death penalty is barbaric, does not deter crime, and makes the exoneration of wrongly convicted people an impossibility. I will support these claims with statistics and evidence that prove that the cons far outweigh any pros of the death penalty. 

You might then take a few sentences (or more) to elaborate a bit on how you will prove each point. Then you get into the bulk of the essay. (Check out the link below for essay feedback.)